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MU182: Emotion and Meaning in Music: Find Scores

Looking for a composer?

If you want to find works by a composer, do an AUTHOR search in the Tiger catalog.  This will bring up anything she has created (scores, recordings, writings, etc).


If you want to find out about a composer, do a SUBJECT search. 


Search Tips


  • You'll find books about music in Tutt Library.
  • You'll find examples of music (scores, media) in the Music Library.

Use Advanced Search in Tiger and the most specific information that you have, such as key, opus number, or thematic index number of  piece:

Mozart   K. 622

Subject Searches

  • Use the plural for examples of musical works:


  • Use singular for information about a musical work:         


Use the uniform title of a work to discover all versions of the work.

You can use Prospector to order materials that are either checked out or not owned by the campus libraries.

  • Access to materials (scores, books, CDs, DVDs, etc.) throughout Colorado and Wyoming
  • Materials arrive in 3-5 business days

To widen your search even farther, use WorldCat to locate scores that we don't own.  You can order these through interlibrary loan.

Finding Scores

Generally, when searching for a music score by title, you should be as specific as you can.  Use the composer's name and then add key,opus number, or other thematic index numbers. Often pieces have distinctive titles, which makes locating them relatively easy (Le marteau sans maitre, Ein Heldenleben, Ionisation).

Scores can be difficult to find because composers often use a generic title, such as "concerto" or "symphony", which refers to the form of the musical work itself.  Composers often produce many works using the same title, such as string quartet No. 1, string quartet No. 2, etc.

To help your searching, librarians use a uniform title to bring together all the arrangements and editions of a particular work.

For example, the uniform title of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, arranged for clarinet with piano accompaniment, is Concertos, clarinet, orchestra, K. 622, A major; arr.  Click on this link and you'll see that we have several editions of this work.

Many works, particularly vocal pieces, have distinctive titles that are not the name of a musical form. Librarians have adopted uniform titles to gather these together as well.

Searching for a part of a work can be challenging.  An aria from an opera or a song selection from a musical is cataloged as a part of the work.  Best results will require that you discover the title of the work your selection is from.

Finding popular song titles is particularly dependent upon verifying "official" titles.

Ask us!  The Music Library has several tools to help you find the scores you need.

Collected Works

You will find collected works of many composers as well as monumental sets and series (works by various composers, eras) in our non-circulating area, call numbers M1-M3.  These editions are authoritative, scholarly ediions of musical works, appropriate for music research.  You will not be able to discover individual works contained in each volume by searching in the Tiger catalog.  Please ask us for help; we have tools that will help.

Scores and Sheet Music Databases

  • Online Resources for Music Scholars
    "provides a basis for beginning electronic research on a wide variety of topics in music, including historical musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory, composition, and performance practice. It collects links to archival collections, online scores and sound recordings; article indexes, discographies and bibliographies; scholarly societies; musical reference works; and a miscellany of useful websites."

  • Digital Librarian: Scores
    A collection of internet resources reviewed by librarians for their authoritativeness and usability.

  • Choral Public Domain Library
    Free, public domian choral/vocal scores, texts, translations, and other useful information.

  • Orchestral Music Online
    A great reference resource on symphonic literature, containing about 6700 works by 900 composers. This is the online version of David Daniel's classic print resource. This database is searchable by timings, instrumentation, available editions, soloists, and choruses.

  • IMSLP Petrucci Music Library
    A digital music library, free printing allowed. It aspires to collecting all public domain music, as well as music by living composers willing to share their works. It's a Canadian site, so adheres to stricter copyright regulations than the United States.

  • Sheet Music Consortium
    A huge collection of digitized sheet music collections from many universities and other sources.

  • Theme Finder
    Themefinder provides search access to a database containing tens of thousands of short melodies and musical incipits, allowing you to identify common themes in Western classical music, Folksongs, and latin Motets of the sixteenth century.

Music Librarian

Daryll Stevens's picture
Daryll Stevens
The fastest way to reach me is via the "Email Me" link above. You may also reach me at 389-6126, or 389-6560